Bakun rock solid — Sarawak Hidro

Posted on July 2, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

-The Borneo Post-

KUCHING: The Bakun hydroelectric dam is rock solid, safe and built to the highest international standard.

Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd (SHSB) managing director/chief executive officer Zulkifle Osman told The Borneo Post yesterday that the Malaysia China Hydro Joint Venture (MCHJV) consortium, which constructs the dam, had adhered to all specifications stipulated in the contract.

These specifications, he assured, complied with international standards and practices, and also the QA/QC procedures approved by SHSB.

Thus, Zulkifle said, allegations of poor quality concrete mix made by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) were “baseless and mischievous”.

“All cement and concrete samplings were witnessed by Sarawak Hidro’s quality controllers and accordingly approved. The article is irresponsible and cites dubious sources making several erroneous statements and allegations,” he said.

The news was highlighted in the Hornbill Unleash news portal. It alleged that an NGO claimed that Sinohydro, a Chinese state-owned enterprise and China’s biggest dam builder, had used improper construction practices and it was so widespread that the dam thus posed a safety concern.

The MCHJV, a joint venture between Sinohydro and Sime Engineering, is the biggest contractor of this mammoth RM7.2 billion effort.

Zulkifle said that in instances when the contractor found local supplies of cement to be of inferior quality it was immediately replaced with higher grade ones from other sources.

“It should be noted that the construction process of the dam and its ancillary structures will continue to be stringently monitored by the client, who had also appointed an Independent Board of Consultants (BOC) with extensive expertise in dam construction.

“The BOC, which comprises six members (4 internal and 2 local experts), had carried out 14 site inspections from June 2003 to review the design and construction of the dam and its ancillary structures, and the performance of the contractor.

“We are confident that the dam and its ancillary structures have been constructed to the highest international standards and safe as confirmed by the BOC,” stressed Zulkifle.

Meanwhile, Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, who had been involved, directly and indirectly, in the dam since its inception in 1982 gave an assurance that the Bakun dam was built to last and it is structurally sound. It was also made after taking into consideration both economic and human factors.

He said those living downstream of the dam had no reason to fear that the dam would collapse and bring disaster upon them.

“What we have today is the product of many leading brains in the business of building dams around the world,” said Masing.

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